The other day in Germany 3: 2005 Lemberger by Count Neipperg Estate

November 19, 2011


Another very good wine which I had tasted last time I visited Germany was a ‘2005 Lemberger’ by Count Neipperg Estate in Wuerttemberg, the 4th largest wine region in Germany (about 12,000 ha under vines).

Lemberger (also called Blaukraenkisch), a late ripening grape, is variety imported from Slovenia in the 19th century. Ever since it is a major variety in Wuerttemberg.

The wine is rich in tannins and has a somewhat spicy character. I liked the fruity bouquet. Because of its complex composition of acidity Lemberger has a good aging potential. The locals love it and deem the Lemberger wines superior to any other.

The Count Neipperg Estate is located in Schwaigern, near the city of Heilbronn in the north of the Wuerttemberg region. The estate has a long tradition (eight centuries!). The most important locations (terroir) are the ‘Neipperger Schlossberg’, ‘Schwaigerner Ruthe’ and ‘Klingenberger Schlossberg’. Apart from Lemberger, Trollinger, Riesling and Traminer grapes are grown among others.

Since 1971 the Neipperg family has also invested in the French wine industry (Saint-Emilion and Sauternes for instance). Since 2005 vineyards in Bulgaria were added to the portfolio.

Gräfl.Neippergsche Hauptverwaltung
74193 Schwaigern/Württ.,Schloss
Tel.: +49-7138-941400
Fax: +49-7138-4007

The five best Riesling wines of 2010

February 18, 2011

Riesling the queen of white wine

Well, let’s be clear from the outset: this is not the result of an orderly wine tasting. I am reminiscing about the most remarkable Rieslings I drank in 2010. The five wines below are the ones I selected, and I call them “my best Rieslings in 2010 – the Man from the Mosel selection”.

As you might know, any recall from memory about events past is a tricky and challenging thing. I also do not have the opportunity to drink these wines parallel to each other (what a shame). But here is my top five list:

1. ‘2009 Dhron Hofberg Riesling GG’, by Grans-Fassian Estate, Leiwen, Mosel.

This is a marvellous Riesling. The 2009 vintage was great. Grans-Fassian is a top Riesling producer from the Mosel. With 95 Parker points the Dhron Hofberg Riesling is just divine. I could not believe my luck when I casually strolled into the cellar door and picked up these treasures.

2. ‘2008 Schieferterrassen Riesling’ by Heymann-Loewenstein, Winningen, Mosel.

Weingut Heymann-Loewenstein is another of the great Riesling producers from the Mosel. The wines are made in a different style from the mainstream. They show great character and have funk. Only on April 30, 2011 the 2009 vintage will be released. I am very excited and cannot wait to taste the 2009 Riesling.

3. ‘2008 Monzinger Halenberg Riesling trocken’ by Emrich-Schoenleber, Monzingen, Nahe

The wines made from fruit grown at Monziger Halenberg are among the best Riesling wines in Germany. The Nahe is the region where my maternal grandfather started to introduce me to wine when I was just a boy. Ever since I love this very diverse region.

Monzingen is a small village next to Martinstein where I spent time with my grand parents. I walked all the different hills and slopes in the vicinity. Emrich-Schoenleber is one of the top producers at the Nahe, a lovely family too where father and son make the wine together.

4. ‘2009 Riesling Leiwen Laurentiuslay GG’ by St. Urbanshof, Leiwen, Mosel

Another wonderful wine from the Mosel. Weingut St. Urbans Hof is located in Leiwen, Mosel. Recently we had a bottle of this Riesling with Sunday lunch. Goodness me what a treat that was. I had only one bottle with me when I came back from Germany in November. The good news is: I will be in Trier in mid March and guess what…..

5. ‘Dr. Mayer Riesling Kabinett trocken’ by Timo Mayer, (Yarra Valley), Remstal, Wuerttemberg

Timo Mayer is an Australian boutique wine maker of the Yarra Valley and a native of Grossheppach, Remstal. He made this wine while travelling in Europe. The grapes come from his brother and the family vineyard. The 2009 vintage was ideal for making this wine. Timo shipped about 60 cases back to Australia. We were so lucky to have access to a few bottles.

You might say, all these wines are German Rieslings, did you not drink others? Well, I did. I tried quite a few Australian ones but that’s usually not my cup of tea. But I am undeterred. My to to list (to drink list) is long.

I admit that I also love Riesling from the Alsace, France. Though they are creamer, heavy, earthy.

I also love Riesling from Rheingau und Rheinhessen, in fact there are so many good German Rieslings it is very difficult to say which one to drink first.

Please let me know what your best Riesling was in 2010.

Dr Mayer Riesling – fine wine from the Remstal, Germany

December 1, 2010

‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’, Remstal, Wuerttemberg, Germany

We were lucky that Timo Mayer, vintner and wine-maker of the Mayer Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, carried with him a bottle of the ‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’ with him when he dropped by recently here in Bangkok.

Timo came back from a wine making and wine selling visit to Germany where he had also made his ‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’ from fruit sourced from his native Remstal (to be precise from a village called Grossheppach) in Wuerttemberg.

The dry Riesling has 12.5% alcohol

The wine is under a glass enclosure which gives it a very elegant appearance. It’s a beautiful dry Riesling, elegant and fruity with a good structure and a long and intensive finish, in short a treasure of a wine.

Mussels and clams with chorizo sausage

We saved the bottle for a special occasion, and surprise, surprise, the occasion should arrive very, very soon: a beautiful tropical Saturday afternoon lent itself for a delicious meal consisting of mussels, clams with chorizo sausages. This is a yummy dish and ideal light lunch.

The bad news is, one cannot buy this wine in Germany, the motherland of Riesling wines.

The good news is one can buy it from Timo Mayer in the Yarra Valley and the outlets carrying his wines in Victoria.

Timo got only about a pallet, so you have to be quick. Better rush.